Daily?? Been waaaaay too long.

Mark Buehrle was a fucking boss last night, as I’m sure you all saw. Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that the eleven strikeouts he recorded last night were one shy of his career high, and that in 430 career starts, he’s reached double digits only twice.

Baseball Tonight tweets out an outstanding heat map of Buehrle’s performance, which shows how he worked the edges of the plate juuuuuuuust a little. However, from the “not sayin’, just sayin’” file, according to Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, last night’s home plate umpire, Jim Wolf, was also behind the plate for Buehrle’s perfect game. Hmmm…

With apologies to everyone else, for my money, John Lott writes the best gamers. So here’s his from the National Post following Buehrle’s gem, as well as another piece he filed, in which — among other things — he spoke to Rays skipper Joe Maddon about the league’s new insufferable replay setup, which apparently has eased tension between managers and umpires. Sounds like a fair trade off for killing one of the most iconic elements of the game while also somehow making it slower in one fell ill-conceived swoop, eh?

One more from Lott: he profiles Dioner Navarro in the wake of the praise — and subtle dig at catchers past? — heaped on him by Jose Bautista after last night’s win.

Alex Anthopoulos was on the Fan 590 with Brady and Walker this morning, and Ben Nicholson-Smith has some highlights at Sportsnet, including the GM’s admission that Jonathan Diaz may not necessarily be returned to the minor leagues when some of the club’s walking wounded return. Diaz offers better hope of taking a walk than Ryan Goins, and just might play better defence, too. If you wanted to bet he steals Goins’ job, I wouldn’t be betting against you.

Gregg Zaun’s “Zaun Cherry” pantomime should best be taken for exactly that, but sometimes he says something so fucking discouragingly off that you can’t not call him out for it. A few post-Sportsfeld beers don’t hurt, either. But seriously, do we really need to empower this kind of moronic thinking? I guess bashing my head up against it keeps me employed, but… for fuck sakes…

Great stuff from Jared Macdonald at Jays Prospects, as he checks in with part two of an excellent feature on Aaron Sanchez, who he talks to about the adversity the club’s prospect faced in 2013.

A little stale — it’s from last Friday — but Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star had a season-previewing sit-down with Alex Anthopoulos, getting some more excellent dirt (which you’ve surely heard by now — and if you haven’t, try following me on Twitter at @AndrewStoeten for near-constant discussion of minutiae that may have one day long ago been breathlessly written about here) on the breakdown of negotiations between the Jays and Ervin Santana (as well as his agent, Jay Alou). Essentially, the deal was agreed to pending a physical, but pen was never put to paper, because in the interim the Braves came calling. Dirty pool by Santana’s group, I suppose, but I happen to be of the mind that if the Jays hadn’t tried to grind them into dust during negotiations, maybe they wouldn’t have been quite so quick to tell the club to go fuck itself when something better came along.

This one is a little stale, too, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also pass along Griffin’s touching tribute to his father, who passed during an otherwise euphoric weekend in which baseball returned to Montreal. Heartfelt condolences, Griff.

Elsewhere over there, Toronto Star beer blogger Josh Rubin weighs in on the removal of the Steam Whistle cart at the Rogers Centre — a story first broken at Blog TO by friend of the blog Ben Johnson two weeks ago. “Big breweries are being more careful with their marketing dollars,” he writes, outlining one of many reasons why this whole thing is rather unbelievably stupid on the Jays’ part. “In some cases, such as the Toronto Indy auto race, craft brewers have stepped into the breach. Alienating craft brewers — potential partners who they may one day have to come back to, cap in hand — is more than a little short-sighted of the Jays.”

Back to the replay issue, as Grof is on this bandwagon, too, writing at Getting Blanked that the replay system works, but remains awful. Hear hear.

Also: Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail gives us five reasons why instant replay is bad for baseball.

Elsewhere at the Globe, something something Hello Kitty partnership with MLB. Huh?

In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm passes along comments from Alex Anthopoulos, who says that J.A. Happ isn’t necessarily going to slide right back into the rotation when he returns — shocking I know — and that ideally the club wouldn’t be carrying three catchers right now.

The Jays have signed Juan Francisco and stashed him in Buffalo in case some disaster befalls the entire big league roster and several of his Bisons teammates. I’m sure some content mill could have provided you with breathless nonsense about the possibilities sooner, but whoopty fucking fuck. MLBTR has the details.

At Bluebird Banter, Nick Ashbourne looks at the curious case of Colby Rasmus and high heat, which, if you’ve ever watched a Jays TV broadcast, you will have heard he has some sort of a problem with. But, as with every pearl of wisdom spewed out by the broadcast crew, the bigger question is: is that actually true, or is this just a load of horseshit uttered entirely as an unthinking reflex to prevent dead air? Earlier in the week at Getting Blanked, Drew looked into the idea of making fancystats work for TV.

Apparently that Edwin’s Parrot shirt is on sale again, and as much as we kind of didn’t care for how that all came about last year, I must admit that the hoodie option is sort of nails.

Goes without saying, but just to say it anyway, re: last night. Um… Jose Bautista is still fucking awesome.

In Vancouver and looking for a place to watch the Jays’ home opener? The Vancouver Canadians are hosting a party at Mahony & Sons. Check out their post on it and go get drunk, or whatever it is you people do.

Lastly, presented without comment: Emilio Bonifacio has started the season with nine hits in two games. According to Hardball Talk, that makes him the first player in over 100 years to do so.

Comments (159)

  1. You know “deuce” has another “e” in it, right?

  2. Fuck! Truly gonna get it…I await your disposal.

  3. I want everyone who bitched all off-season that buerhle’s contract has to be dumped, to stand up and say hey guys, i was wrong, i know jack shit about baseball, we need reliable inning.

    • While I agree in general that people making a big deal about Buehrle’s money this winter were fairly clueless, for fuck sakes, it was one game.

      • one of many stoeten!
        get excited
        the man doesn’t shake off catchers and pitched to the worst catcher in the game, in front of a sub par defense.

        • You have zero basis for calling Arencibia the worst catcher in the game, if you’re talking about game calling.

          Sorry, one game is meaningless.

          • you have zero basis for saying he’s not,
            i guess we’ll find out who’s right

          • Not zero basis according to Buehrle’s comments of 2 weeks ago.
            Dinner’s game calling vastly superior to JPA’s.

            • Was the Dinner Navarro a type-o…..or just a suitably great nickname for him?

            • RADAR, you don’t just take these people’s comments at face value unless you want to be wrong about everything. Zero reason to believe him, for very obvious reasons. Come on.

              • If there was 0 reason, why would jose also throw in a little shot?
                maybe its not the best as compared to the worst, but it would seem better.
                it would stand to reason that would lead to an overall improvement, especially for a pitcher who doesn’t blow people away and doesn’t shake off a catcher…. why do you always have to nit pick sentences and ignore the general sentiment?

              • C’mon Stoeten,You think I’m wrong about everything?
                Check shit out before you make such proclamations.You’d look less silly.
                Buehrle is the anti Halladay.
                He has said many times he doesn’t view film of hitters,he doesn’t go to pregame meetings and expects his catcher to tell him what to throw.
                That’s why he never shakes off the catcher.He executes the catchers game plan.
                He doesn’t care if or when the manager pulls him from the game
                JPA was the one calling the pitches last year and Buehrle said he wasn’t impressed with the game calling decisions,last year.
                He just throws what they tell him to.
                This was before the regular season even started.
                Even Bautista notices the difference.
                We’re 3 games into the season.
                But you are always right and everybody else is wrong.
                Is that because of your superior mind reading ability?
                Or are you just being an asshole again?
                Nevermind,I already know the answer.

          • Isn’t tweeting a little like calling for a pitch? They are both reactionary decisions. Neither of which JPA has a good reputation for.

            Analogical evidence for sure, but there may be gold in dem there hills.

        • i don’t care that most people will read your comment and think you’re an idiot, one start into a season that will (hopefully) see him start another 30 isn’t too early to make broad, sweeping judgements.

    • I’m all for Buehrle – but even I’m impressed at start #1, seeing as he somehow forgot he has a history of “slow starter.” Even he’s admitted in previous yrs he’s not always sharp out of the gate.
      Or just forget all that and throw 11 Ks and 8 2/3 innings.

    • I don’t necessarily disagree but one game doesn’t make a season.

  4. I love the replay system – even if it may need a tweak or two.

    Arguments are fun to watch but when the call WAS wrong and against your team, it’s hard to get over the futility of the argument.

    Plus there will still be plenty of arguing over rule interpretations and balls and strikes.

    • Hate it. Kill it now.

      • nah, just needs a tweak – if they’re gonna challenge, it has to be declared right away, no fucking around waiting to see if it’s worth challenging. and…did they ‘ban’ arguing with the implementation of the replay system? i don’t think so – managers can obviously still go out to ‘argue’ a call, but if they’re challenging it, they say so right away, and if they aren’t challenging it (because it’s not worth the risk of losing the challenge), they can still ‘argue’ with the ump without actually challenging.

      • I see it as:

        Option #1: Entertaining but absolutely useless argument lasting a minute or more and sometimes resulting in your manager being kicked out of the game.

        Option #2: Boring chit chat while deciding to challenge or not. Lasts just as long, unless there is a challenge. But if there is a challenge it probably means it is a game changing play that needs review. And probably means the play was too close to ever expect human eyes to fairly judge.

        So you basically are trading the entertainment factor for accuracy. And the total time expended is probably less on the average night.

        • The amount of time it takes is not equal, and that entertainment has value, too.

        • Hate it.
          Especially how the manager comes out and makes awkward small talk with the umpire waiting for someone to give him the yea or nay from the dugout.
          Get out there and start yelling and kicking dirt and shit for cryin’ out loud.

      • Agree Stoeten..kill the fucking replay now…

        • I’m a huge fan of getting things right, and would take what they have over what they had. Fix the structure though — it’s clear they are just wasting time so they don’t waste an appeal.

          How about: Give them a little flag — if the flag doesn’t hit the ground before the manager steps on the field, no appeal. (And no replay/appeal of when the flag hit the ground)

          • Sorry “anon” but that is dumb. See you at the next meeting.

            • Ha. It wasn’t a brainstorming session. But they need to get rid of the chat while keeping the review, that’s all. There are lots of ways they could conceivably accomplish that.

      • I’d do the replay system in the playoffs.

    • I hate the replay system. I hate the culture that EVERYTHING THE NFL DOES IS BANG ON THE BEST AND IT’S INCREDIBLE.. Mostly cause I hate watching that slow, ad-saturated, micro-rule filled sport. I hate listening to commentary on something that was just replayed ad-naseum for the home viewer anyway. I hate skewing everything toward the at-home fan. I hated pointless arguing of calls (where you could tell the manager wasn’t into it but wanted his team to see he’s ‘their guy’), but love when someone is genuinely fired up about an idiot ump. What’s it like to sit in the stands while these guys bullshit and wait for their video guy to call down on whether it’s right to issue a challenge? I imagine it sucks. Get rid of this. Baseball wasn’t broken because of a few blown calls and sitting around remembering good ones (Gruber’s tag) is kind of fun anyway, isn’t it? “Remember in 2024 when Joe Maddon challenged that play… The guts of that guy!” no one will say, ever.

    • It amazes me that baseball didn’t realize coaches would be sitting around wasting time arguing with the umps while they waited to find out whether or not to challenge a play.

      • Has anyone challenged a “proximity play” at 2nd yet? I assume everyone has been told to be more deliberate in touching the bag but some habits are hard to break.

  5. Are you going to be doing those Morning After features still? Or is Zuber too busy

  6. Fuckin’ Bonifacio. that really pisses me off.

  7. If US sport wasn’t so mind-numbingly insular, they might have checked out how cricket has been handling replays for the last 10+ years.

    Key elements:
    1. Replays are initiated by the umpires, not the players or manager.
    2. Umpires will call for quite a lot of replays when in any doubt, because they don’t want to look like jerks by getting one wrong, but no need to wait for manager to make a decision.
    3. Result of review is displayed on ‘jumbo tron’, which gets crowd involved and has become a popular feature of game, is quick, and doesn’t require umps to put on headphones and wander off field.

    Well thought out, and huge success from day 1.

    Contrast the completely ill-thought out mess currently in play in baseball, where they’ve just gone about it completely wrong, and because they can’t imagine a system that does not ape football. Above all, the situation where in essence the play is reviewed up to three times per appeal (home team, away team, a decision is made whether to appeal, and then by MLB review team) is insane, plus the delays when the team decide NOT to appeal after all.


    • +1

    • Doesn’t exactly sound like it quickens the pace, though.

      • was speeding up the game (by eliminating arguing) really the point, or was it to get close, potentially game-changing calls right?

        • No, it wasn’t the point at all. Problem is that it has done the opposite, which is the issue. Combine that with the fact that you lose the arguments and the balance starts tipping towards this whole thing being stupid. Add in that the human element is kind of OK and the crowd getting on an ump is a fun part of the entire experience and… kill it. Kill it dead.

      • Well – there was no tradition of managers running onto the field in Cricket, so anything was going to be slower, however umpire might make 3 or 4 calls for a replay in a 3 hour period, max. Delay typically about 30 seconds, maybe a minute for close calls. Ump calls for review by making a hand signal … no need for headphones or anything else as result delivered on big screen.

        • Aaaaaaand cricket matches last 5+ hours per day times several days. Or so says Yahoo answers: https://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070624135928AAiihip … don’t think that’s the sport baseball should be trying to emulate. Enough people were already tuning out baseball pre-replay rule because it was too slow.

          • Cricket has long games by the nature of it’s rules, and I agree that it is not for everyone. But the review process is actually pretty speedy, and it gets the calls right faster than North American replay systems do (mostly because the officials don’t need to leave the field of play to conduct the review).

            Rugby league does replay extremely well. There is additional fan suspense is seeing whether the booth will rule try or no try on the jumbotron. I quite like that system.

    • Giving them time to decide if they want to challenge is the clear issue, make the managers have to challenge right away or within 30 seconds or whatever instead of sitting around waiting for bench coach to watch the replay. What an enormous waste of time. GIbbons and other managers quoted saying they were engaged with small talk with umps in interim – what a joke!

    • +1. Rugby does this too; it’s quick and it works. MLB will probably start going full American football and cut to Dodge Ram commercials 8 times a game.

  8. there could be more to Juan Francisco than meets the eye. He has oodles of raw power apparently, but has the typical problem of striking out too much and as a lefty has a significant platoon split. In the short term he’s probably the callup should Lawrie or Lind get hurt, but in the long term he seems to be the type of player that the Jays might be able to catch lightning in a bottle with. No one should be holding their breath, but he’s been talked about for a while as the type of guy who the Jays would love to sink their teeth into. Only 26.

    • He’s pretty awful. And I’d figure Dan Johnson gets the call if Lind goes down.

      • you’re probably right about Johnson over Francisco if Lind goes down, although that’s not necessarily the way it should be.

        .243/.300/.432 career
        .252/.312/.464 vs righties

        .236/.337/.411 career
        .234/.336/.410 vs righties

        not much to choose from, but I’d take Francisco as an upside play.

  9. Even if Lind was league average against lefties, he has a wonky enough back that he should be rested anyway.

    And he’s about as good a bench bat against righty relievers as any team could have.

    And he isn’t league average against lefties anyway.

    • Absolute nonsense. You know nothing of the state of his back.

      • No I don’t.

        But AA presumably does and said this pretty explicitly on the radio this morning.

        They asked about the debate of Lind platooning and he said that Lind has had some back issues and platooning last year may have helped keep him healthy. Around the 6:45 mark.

      • Maybe my “tense” gave the wrong impression – I’m not saying it’s currently wonky. Just that it has been at times. A little rest can’t hurt. Cal Ripken he ain’t.

  10. Buerhle has to paint like Bob Ross to be effective.

    “Just a friendly two seemer here on the gorgeous backdrop of the plate, followed by a nifty curveball that cascades majestically like tears falling from the gods ”

    But if he ain’t Bob Rossin’ he’s a great practice pitcher.

    I was stoked to seem him put Pitbullgate behind him.

  11. re. the replay stuff, only issue is how managers are (rightfully) gaming the system by going out to ‘argue’ while waiting for confirmation whether to challenge or not. simple change would be to institute a time limit for when a challenge can be made, and if the challenge is going to be made, it has to be declared immediately to the ump within that limit.

    • That’s the worst part, but also: kill it. Arguments, please.

      • Thats my favourite part! I like how they are so open about it, slowly chats up the ump until they get the word to challenge it or not from the bench. And when they do its so obvious what is happening, I find it really baseballish.

        • I was trying to lip read what madden was saying when he first came out to potentially challenge a play in the opener it looked like he said “That play was really close so I’m just gonna talk to you until davey tells me to challenge or not”

          The team having a replay guy is dumb. get rid of that part

      • i just think too much spins on the judgments of umps, and most of the plays that are going to be challenged are bang-bang ones where the ump has to focus on 3 things at once – say, a close play at first, he’s gotta be watching the ball into the glove, the feet of the first baseman (and where the ball is when his foot’s on the bag), and the foot of the runner. i like the IDEA of replay, but they didn’t put enough thought into how to prevent savvy managers from gaming it to their advantage.

        • Umps at first, or any force out for that matter, watch the foot contact and listen for the ball/glove contact.

      • I say that they make a rule that managers aren’t allowed to come out of the dugout, and if they do, they are charged with a mound visit.

        • @ Peter,
          thats perfect,
          i love that idea,
          isn’t it two mound visits in the same inning, you have to pull the pitcher?

          • In addition to my suggestion, a mound visit should be considered as subsequent game action, and if a challenge isn’t issued prior to subsequent game action the play is no longer eligible for a challenge.

            And yes, a pitcher must be replaced on a 2nd visit to the mound.

      • Have machines call balls and strikes!

  12. still wanna trade Bautista assholes?

  13. I’m happy for Bonafacio actually, he just didn’t work out here. Also nice to see Stoeten givin some time to the chemistry aspect that Bautista was talkin about.

  14. Buerhle had a pretty great assessment of his performance last night .. he said you get 33 starts/year

    - 11 you feel like you did tonight – you just have it
    - 11 you won’t have it
    - 11 you will have to battle

    It’s not mind blowing but a good point to keep in mind as we see both terrible starts and gems early into this season!

    • i think Halladay said something to that effect as well

      10% of the time you have your best stuff and can dominate
      10% of the time you don’t have it and get your brains beat in
      the rest of the time you’re battling

      maybe those proportions tell you something about the quality of those pitchers

    • Totally agree. I saw that Barry Davis post game and wanted to high five the big screen. Buehrle calls it as it is.

    • Jays version (Halladay era to present):

      1 where nobody knows who the fuck you are and you do OK
      4 where Buck and Tabby talk about how OK you did like it was a CGS while you get rocked the 2nd and (if you’re lucky) 3rd times through the order
      1 where you know the DFA is coming and your mind is already in the Anchor Bar

  15. Re : John Lott writes the best gamers

    Agreed. Lott, in my opinion, is the best beat guy in Toronto.

    Re: “Zaun Cherry”

    Don’t poke the bear man, not worth the trouble. If you ignore him he will go away in time.

    Re: Jonathan Diaz may not necessarily be returned to the minor leagues

    An interesting development. If a career OBP of .358 in the minors could translate to .315 in MLB then we could be in passable territory (defence and contract considered).

  16. lol….soggy biscuit

    • Ya wow Stoeten that soggy biscuit tweet @ Zaun was pretty harsh! Yikes!

      You don’t care who you piss off do you? Did you give up on someday working for Rogers?

  17. Maybe the handling for replays is you have to throw the flag right away.

    If you come out to argue and don’t throw down the flag instantly, then you are only there to argue and waive any other recourse.

  18. Hmm let’s see if I can post from my phone since my computer keeps saying waiting for moderation

  19. sanchez and stroman make their first starts today. (prospect porn season opener)

  20. Oh, the media monkeys and the junket junkies will invite you to the plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away, Andrew.

  21. Just found out a new method for keeping Mrs. Tom W away during baseball season. No more brushing teeth or showers ’till October boyz!

  22. wow Emilio is 11 for his first 14 this year including 4 steals….wow

    • Yea I saw that, but hey were 2-1!

    • He had the tools. Perhaps he made a hitting adjustment that has paid off.

      Either way, he can go bang a wet rubber boot.

      • when KC let him go…it should have been considered to atleast bring him back to play 2nd…sure he was a disaster but i think it takes time to adjust to the turf of rogers centre

        • Didn’t we give him up for 50 k or some shit?
          I think they probably had made their decision on him if they valued him that low.

          • Just because I couldn’t stand his dumbass smirk doesn’t mean he can’t be useful somewhere else.
            But shit…there was abso-fucking-lutely no way they would bring him back. And if he did come back no way he would’ve been any good. Let’s keep in mind he’s got 159 more games to go.

  23. Good article on Dinner.
    Hate instant replay.
    Nice comeback with soggy biscuit. What’s the female version?

  24. Why was Shlomo dumped last night on Jays’ talk? There are many Hasidic Jews that call up NYC sports talk radio and they are never dumped. It must be different up in TO.

  25. I don’t think Jose would’ve opened his mouth about the catcher situation (aka Dinnertime), if JPA hadn’t spouted that nonsense during ST.

    I think it was a dig and I think it was intended for Strike3bia.

  26. The Zaun burn was great, Stoeten. Another:

    “You might not tell the pilot how to land, Zaun, because you are an idiot, but some engineers or, say, statisticians, who also have never flown, just might have something useful to say about aviation.”

  27. My dream is to one day walk out to the 100 level, feel the sunshine on my face, smell the freshly cut grass, and take a long swig of my freshly poured Steamwhistle pint. Or maybe a Coblestone stout on a cool summers eve. Instead I have to chug a couple of good bottles at the brewery before handing over my left nut for an overpriced plastic cup of horse piss. Thanks again Rogers. Keep enhancing the fan experience!

  28. “or whatever it is you people do” – You know exactly what it is that we do out here ;)

  29. I just coulkd not depart yur website prior to suggesting
    that I actually enjoyed the standard info an individual supply in youyr visitors?
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